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MS Thr 630

American vaudeville collection, 1862-1905: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: pf
Call No.: MS Thr 630
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: American vaudeville collection,
Date(s): 1862-1905 and undated.
Quantity: 1 collection (.5 linear feet (1 portfolio box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Primarily playbills and programs from American vaudeville shows.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

No accession number. Various sources, various dates.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

American Vaudeville Collection, 1862-1905 (MS Thr 630). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Vaudeville was a type of variety theatrical entertainment in the United States and Canada from the late19th through the early 20th centuries. It was similar to modern musical comedy or the music-hall variety show. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, minstrels, and movies.


Arranged alphabetically by title or author.

Scope and Contents

Includes playbills, programs, and an autograph manuscript of an article Old time variety shows in the '60s, by H. B. White. Items are from various locales in the United States, especially from Brooklyn, Jersey City, Newark, and New York City.
Many playbills are in fragile condition, some torn and in pieces.

Container List